Two weeks ago live on the WNST airwaves, I projected the Ravens to go 9-7 in 2010. I specifically pointed to the secondary as an obvious problem area. I then predicted even more trouble for the team when Donte Stallworth went down with his ankle injury and Mark Clayton had his potential concussion issue. Needless to say, I was not a friendly face to most after these statements, and have had to defend my position for the last couple of weeks.
Ozzie Newsome has now taken the fight out of me. By trading for former Turtle Josh Wilson, he has helped bolster a depleted secondary tremendously without giving up much. I still believe Kyle Wilson would’ve been the right pick in the draft, and this trade still could have been made, but I digress. While the Ravens secondary is relying on help from guys coming off of injury (Webb, Washington, Reed), they now have a solid #2 type corner that will be much needed as the season progresses.
Then the brilliant move this weekend (which I actually called, see below) in picking up recently cut WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, which also allows them to trade Mark Clayton. Houshmandzadeh will turn out to be a better pickup than Stallworth and Clayton combined. With the combination of Boldin, Housh, and Mason, the Ravens now have a serious WR core that will have many teams struggling to match up with, and help with the developement of Joe Flacco. Phenominal move by Newsome yet again to really stick it to my prediction. New prediction, 11-5…maybe 12-4, that’s how big those pickups will prove to be. Thanks Ozzie, you definitely shut me up!
Sunday night I had my final live fantasy football draft of the season. This was my first year in this particular league, and it is an interesting, 12 person mix of about half Ravens fans, and the rest are fans of all different teams…Skins, Cowboys, Bucs, Bears, Eagles. We’re into the 5th round, and a guy I had never met before the draft, completely decked out in Ravens gear selects T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The room erupts into jeers and boos, eplains to him that he’d been cut the night before, and the guy decides to keep him anyway. I then tell the crowd that it’s highly likely that the Ravens will pick him up (I hadn’t heard anything yet, just a hunch), and this guy will be a genius! No one agrees. Two picks later, I select Joe Flacco as my starting QB…another round of jeers. No less than 30 minutes later, the texts start coming in that the Ravens had, in fact, signed Housh to a 1 year deal. Masterful drafting on my/Tom’s part for sure.
On a side note, I was able to get Larry Fitzgerald in the 6th round of my draft. 6th!!!! That’s right, 14 picks AFTER Joe Flacco was picked, I was easily able to pick up LFitz. I know the QB situation in Arizona is rough, but are people this down on LF? Don’t the best WR’s make QB’s good? I guess we’ll see how that turns out.
I have a hard time putting into words how excited I am about the start of the college football season. The weather even cooled down enough to make it feel like fall. There’s not much better than getting up on a Saturday morning, putting together a huge breakfast while GameDay is on, and watching football from the noon Big Ten game to the 2am WAC game. The opening weekend of the 2010 season provided some great games, as well as a little insight on the season going forward…
The usual BSC team walks over small school opponents didn’t really happen this weekend, with Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and USC barely winning their openers. I’m sure the gambling public took a beating on that. 2 D-1AA (FBS) schools even beat their bigger, better funded D-1 opponents this weekend (Jacksonville St beat Ole Miss and North Dakota State beat Kansas). We’ll have to keep an eye on this as the years go on. Is parity in NCAA athletics becoming a reality? Are the NCAA regulations (recruiting, practices, academics, perks) bringing the big boys back to the pack? Maybe it’s just a fluke; I just find it hard to believe that teams run by the likes of Urban Meyer, Mack Brown, Bob Stoops, or even Lane Kiffin were unprepared to start the season.
The MD/Navy game will prove to be more costly a loss to Navy than an important win for Maryland. Navy had the makings of a special season, and was looking to get into a bigger bowl than the Eagle Bank or Poinsetta. We knew Maryland was going to have a bad team, and in the end, this win will only be one of a couple and won’t mean much by the end of the season. Navy needed a win against a BCS conference team to build on the momentum they’ve had the last couple of years with its wins against Notre Dame. They can still hope to pull off that miracle again, but it is unlikely.
Boise State has been the BCS busting media darling the last couple of years, with wins against major opponents in BCS bowls, along with 27 consecutive victories. Their win against a basically home team Virginia Tech last night was an early stamp on their 2010 resume for the BCS championship game. I know you have to judge a college team/player based on the year they’re playing, not past performance, but if they run the table this year and wind up with wins against VT, BYU, and Oregon St. (who gave TCU all they could handle this weekend), they belong in the title game. Their program deserves as much.
Overall a great sports weekend and with the NFL season and MLB playoffs on the horizon, these weekends are only going to get better. I can’t wait!!!